Is It Possible to Get Heartburn from Drinking Water?
In general, drinking plenty of water aids in the digestion of stomach contents and is beneficial to people who suffer from heartburn symptoms. However, water can also fill the stomach and cause regurgitation or pressure that induces heartburn. It is best to drink small amounts of water, especially before bed when stomach acids will be at their worst.
Heartburn that occurs as a result of drinking water can be a dangerous symptom to have. Water is a necessary part of a healthy life-style. If it is making you sick, it is best to get to the bottom of the problem.
The big issue with water and heartburn is that when you drink water it mixes with stomach acids. If you are subject to acid reflux or have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the water in your stomach may cause heartburn anyway. If you have a problem with a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the problem may be even more troublesome because this muscle is designed to keep the stomach contents from entering the esophagus. (The reason we feel heartburn in the first place.)
Drinking water really becomes an issue if you have a hiatal hernia. Hiatal hernia is a term that describes a condition in which part of the stomach is forcing its way into the upper part of this area near the esophagus. If you have really chronic heartburn symptoms because of hiatal hernia, surgery may be necessary to relieve your symptoms.
How to Avoid or Treat Heartburn Caused by Drinking Water
As mentioned earlier, try to avoid drinking a large amount of water right before bed. Stomach acids are produced while you sleep and lying down also increases gastric pressure. Gastric pressure can cause heartburn by pushing stomach contents into the esophagus. The reason for gastric pressure when lying down is that organs shift within the body cavity and apply pressure on digestive organs such as the stomach. The same thing happens when we bend over or wear tight clothing.
Other things you might try include adding a small amount of natural apple cider to the water before you drink it. This can help to lower the pH levels in the stomach and prevent the reaction of the stomach acids that can cause heartburn.
Also, losing weight can prevent many heartburn causes – including water. Obesity is another way that gastric pressure causes heartburn. It also cause production of more stomach acids.
Try to avoid starches, sugars, and carbonated drinks and stick to water. Sometimes water just fills up the stomach and causes the real heartburn triggers to gain closer access to the esophagus.
Take an antacid when you drink water. Antacids work to neutralize the stomach acids and help prevent them from being so volatile. Over the counter medications like Maalox and even baking soda can help neutralize stomach acids.
Proton pump inhibitors that help to prevent acid from being secreted into the stomach are now also available in over the counter varieties. Medications like Zantac 75, Pepcid AC, and Axid AR are proving to be very effective for many people.
Remember that water is not the enemy here, stomach acids and weak esophageal muscles are the problem. Try to address the production of acid in the stomach and the ways that acid reacts with the foods and beverages you consume.
If you do find yourself battling heartburn after drinking water and you haven’t eaten anything, try to eat a solid food that is not going to set off your heartburn. If you have already eaten, you might be experiencing heartburn because of an offending food. Try eating a few almonds or chewing gum to help saliva production and induce swallowing to keep acids where they belong.